Apr 1, 2014

Heir spared jail for daughter rape

Heir spared jail for daughter rape. The heir of a wealthy family has been spared jail after admitting to raping his own daughter because the judge in the case decided he might “not fare well” behind bars.

Robert H. Richards IV was charged in 2009 with the fourth-degree rape of his three-year-old daughter.

The abuse dates back a decade and went on for three years. Over the same period Richards, 46, was accused by his ex-wife of raping his toddler son but was never prosecuted due to lack of evidence.

Despite confessing to his daughter’s rape Richards, a member of the du Pont family which founded the multinational chemical company, got only an eight-year suspended sentence with no jail time.

Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden, whose decision it was to spare Richards jail, reasoned that he needed treatment instead of time behind bars, court records show. Jurden also ordered Richards to “participate in a sex offenders” treatment program.

The shocking leniency of the judgment came to light only after Richard’s ex-wife filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for the abuse to her children, the Delaware News Journal reported.

In her lawsuit, Tracy Richards claimed that her ex-husband, who is unemployed and lives on a trust fund, penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and went on to assault his toddler son.

He told his daughter to “to keep what he had done to her a secret” but in 2007 the girl told her grandmother.

According to the lawsuit Richards admitted to the abuse of both of his children. He was initially charged with second-degree rape, which carries a 10-year mandatory sentence. After hiring a top law firm he was offered and accepted a plea deal of one count of fourth-degree rape, which carries no mandatory jail time.

Some of the abuse occurred at a $1.8 million mansion in Greenville, Delaware, where Richards still lives. His wife is now living with her children in rented accommodation.

In her ruling the judge wrote that the rapist might “not fare well” in jail. Legal experts expressed surprise at her decision, insisting that how the defendant would be treated in prison should not influence decision’s of sentencing.

Child rapists are routinely attacked in prison. Although most prisons have measures in place to protect them.